Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia)
BYLINE: PAUL FALLON, DAILY MAIL STAFF
Charleston Parking Director Alana Minear’s five-year tenure with the city will come to an end April 30, and city officials are not saying whether she resigned or was terminated.
A new parking director already has been named. George Jarrett, a retired Charleston police officer who was working as a city building inspector, assumed the position Wednesday.
City Manager David Molgaard said Minear will remain on the city payroll until the end of the month.
When asked why Minear was leaving, Molgaard said, “She’s an at-will employee and we’re installing someone else as the parking director.”
Molgaard said the city had offered the parking director position to Jarrett in the past but he declined.
“We think he is an ideal candidate for the position, and we wish he would have taken that role some time ago,” Molgaard said. “Fortunately, we were able to convince him to consider it this time.
“We’re not making the change because she was insubordinate or did anything wrong,” he added. “We’re making the change because we want to put George Jarrett in and make some changes in that department.
“There was no particular reason for Alana’s replacement other than our desire to put someone that we felt would be a better fit into that position,” Molgaard said.
Molgaard said city officials typically try to move a department head into another position when making a change. However, there were no vacant department head positions.
Minear declined comment on her departure when contacted by phone Wednesday. However, she did say that she already has obtained another job.
“I’m going to be working with West Virginia Commercial Real Estate,” she said. “I start on May 1.”
Mayor Danny Jones also declined comment, saying it was a personnel matter. Jarrett could not be reached for comment.
The city did not advertise the parking director position, and Jarrett was the only person considered, Molgaard said. City officials believe Jarrett is qualified because he was a long-time Charleston police officer and a building inspector for about eight years.
He is also a lifelong Charleston resident.
“He knows the streets of Charleston as good as anyone,” Molgaard said.
Molgaard said he was not concerned about Jarrett’s ability to run a department of 25 employees with a budget of $4.5 million.
“We’ll be working with George on how to run a budget,” Molgaard said.
Much of the Parking Department’s upcoming budget already is in place.
“I’ve met with George and Joe Estep (finance director), and we discussed meeting to talk about next year’s budget,” Molgaard said.
The parking director oversees the operation of the city’s parking garages as well as revenue generated from the parking meters and parking spot rentals. The director also oversees the parking enforcement division, Molgaard said.
Department employees play an important role in the city by regulating the use of downtown parking spots, he said.
“And it’s a thankless job,” Molgaard added, “because no one wants to see a parking enforcement officer approach them.”
Molgaard said he assumed Jarrett was collecting a pension for his service as a Charleston officer. He also said he was not concerned that Jarrett would be collecting a police pension at the same time he was collecting a salary as parking director.
“He earned that pension,” Molgaard said.
Estep wasn’t sure exactly how much Jarrett would be paid but said the parking director’s salary range is $56,650 to $72,100 per year.
Molgaard said new hires, even department heads, generally start at the low end of the salary range.
Copyright 2012 Charleston Newspapers